Esports, short for electronic sports, features organized competitions with expert gamers, either as individuals or divided into teams, fighting in popular games to win cash, prizes, and trophies.
Unbeknownst to most, the origin of esports dates back to 1972, with the first tournament yielding 10,000 gamers at a Space Invaders championship.
Over the past few decades, due to increased demand for online games, enhanced technology, increased access to devices, and faster internet connections, the esports sector has achieved a large following.
Another attractive aspect of esports is that many gamers have dreams of making it as a professional themselves, with hopes of winning tournaments, money, and status and doing what they love every day.
Some players are fortunate to have succeeded, earning thousands of subscribers and six-figure salaries off the back of their gaming skills and participation in lucrative tournaments.
A few examples include Clayster, who won a call of duty competition in 2020, amassing $383,325. Furthermore, Kyle Giersdorf won a Fortnite tournament in 2019 to the tune of $3.2 million. As of May 20121, a collective group of gamers named Team Liquid is, according to Statista, the highest-earning esports team globally, with an estimated income of $36.7 million.
Much like traditional sports, younger candidates are preferred in esports because of their reaction times, sharp memory skills, and quick thinking.
As expected, most of these skills deteriorate with age, which is why it’s common for esports pros to retire in their mid-twenties. As such avid wannabe professional gamers have a time-restricted window of opportunity to break into the esports world.
To date, the youngest esports player, according to the Guinness world of records, is Victor De Leon, who, at age 7, signed a contract to become a professional gamer. He made his way into the gaming sphere by perfecting his skills in Halo from the age of four.
As of 2019, the esports market made over $1 billion US dollars accumulating wealth from sponsors such as Red Bull and Audi, plus media rights, advertising, merchandise, tickets, and game publisher fees. Research reveals Asia and North America have contributed the highest share of revenue so far.
Moreover, according to Statista, the esports market growth is predicted to continue growing over the coming years, accumulating an estimated $1.62 billion in 2024.
With esports income set to increase, the reward money will only continue to rise for professional gamers, and tournament venues and ceremonies will become more elaborate.
For the scoop on what events are generating and offering large sums of cash to gamers worldwide, take a look at the four events below.
Made To Amaze
In recent months, reputable online casino provider 888 Poker upgraded and reintroduced their weekly Made-To-Amaze poker tournaments for players.
The tournaments take place every Sunday, 6 pm sharp online, with a $5 buy-in. The cash prizes alternate each week, and in some instances, players can win up to $10,000.
But money isn’t the only thing winners can gain. There’s also a selection of Made to Amaze prizes such as one-on-one training sessions with poker ambassadors, free entry to all XL winter series events, private $10,000 online tournaments for the winner and friends, and more.
Players can simply log into the 888poker app to find out the prizes for the upcoming tournaments.
One of the most exciting and alluring aspects of Made to Amaze is that it’s featured every weekend, and the buy-in is cheap. As a result, players won’t need to wait annually, which is sometimes the case for other poker events. Plus, the cost for players to join is affordable.
The International (Dota 2)
The International tournament is brought to gamers featuring Dota 2 by developer Valve and takes place every year.
The tournament comprises 18 teams, 12 of which earned an invite based on their Dota Pro Circuit event performance. The remaining six gained their position from succeeding in regional qualifying payoff events from different countries, such as America, Asia, and Europe.
The International offers the largest cash prize for single tournament events out of all esports events, and it increases every year.
For instance, when the tournament began in 2011, team Natus Vincere won $1,600,000. The most recent champion in 2019, called OG, however, earned $34,330,068. That’s an increase of $32,730,068 over nine years!
Fortnite World Cup
Fortnite World Cup competitions similar to The International usually take place on an annual basis.
More than 200 countries participated in the event, together contributing 40 million players and a sold-out stadium with seats snapped up by 19,000 fans.
While the Fortnite event may not be as lucrative as The International, the most recent competition, hosted in 2019, had $30 million ready to share between the winners.
Among the champions, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdordf became the world cup solo winner earning $3,000,000, and David “Aqua” Wanhgh and Emil “Nyphrox” Bergquist Pederson split $3,000,000 in the world cup duo.
League of Legends World Championship
Commonly referred to as “The Worlds,” the League of Legends World Championship is what many argue, the most popular game in 2021, attracting numerous professional gamers to participate in the World Championship.
Back in 2019, the contest attracted 3,985,787 viewers and has consistently broken viewership numbers every year.
The opening ceremony surprises and theatrics add additional excitement and celebration to the LoL event, which keeps attendees and viewers hooked.
For instance, in 2017, during the opening ceremony for a rematch between SKT T1 and Samsung Galaxy. There was an augmented reality dragon-shaped after Elder Drake, which soared through and around the arena.
In terms of prize money, in the 2020 season held in China, Damwon Gaming gained 1st place and accrued $556,250. However, in years prior the prize money for 1st place has been much higher. For instance, in 2019. FunPlus phoenix earned $834,375 and in 2018 Invictus gaming won $2,418,750.